Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Committee hears allegations of abuse at McFadden Ranch

The following complaints have been voiced anonymously in Grits comments before, but they've never been in the press and this is the first time I've heard anyone make the allegations in a verifiable way.

I know sometimes folks are frustrated when I don't pick up "hot" stories from anonymous Grits comments, but without some verifiable source, it's often hard to do so. That can be frustrating for everyone involved.

But in the case of McFadden Ranch, a halfway house in Denton County, now some previously anonymous allegations about abuse have a face and a voice: Carlos Wilson, a JCO, is preparing to end his 12-year career at TYC after Aug. 31, but before he leaves he came to Austin today to tell the joint legislative committee his story.

At McFadden Ranch in Denton County about two weeks ago, said Wilson, the superintendent gave approval to take two youth off campus to go to another employee's home to work on the plumbing. One of the youth contracted poison ivy that spread to his hands, legs and genitals. Inexplicably, said Wilson, bleach and alcohol were used to treat the boy's poison ivy, which obviously made the situation worse. Wilson reported the incident to the TYC abuse hotline, he said, and to other officials including the joint committee staff.

Now that the complainant has come forward, I'd hope this would be something that the Dallas News or other metroplex media would follow up on. That's an awfully grim story.